Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill stunned top seed Quezon City 99-85 to crown itself North Division champion and advance to the Finals of the Metro League Reinforced (2nd) Conference Saturday night in its home at the Niagara Industrial Equipment Corp. Gym in Caloocan.
In front by just a scary 83-81 score midway through the final frame, the wards of head coach Rensy Bajar launched a stinging 16-5 killer blow to beat the Capitals and advanced all the way to the Last Dance.
Caloocan will now face unbeaten South Division ruler Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo in the best-of-three Finals starting this Tuesday at the latter’s homecourt in this import-flavored M-League conference which is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
Five players scored in double figures for Caloocan led by the one-two punch of Joseph Brutas and Johnnel Rey Bauzon.
Both PBA D-League veterans, Brutas racked up a game-high 28 points while Bauzon hauled down a double-double of 15 markers and 12 boards.
Providing support for the two were Michael De Leon with 14 points while Robbi Marion Darang and Reynaldo De Mesa chipped in 13 markers apiece.
Behind a well-balanced offense, Caloocan actually started like a house on fire with a 30-18 lead which it even managed to protect until QC clawed back to strike within 81-83.
Good thing for Supremos, they had enough gas left in the tank as they retaliated with the deciding run to reach the Metro Finals of the M-League that is also bankrolled by Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors.
Quezon City was led by a balanced attack courtesy of the 18 and 15 points, respectively, of Jefferson Comia and Mon Mabaya together with 10 apiece of Adzhar Udjan, John Mahari and Ibrahim Ouattara.
But they still weren’t enough as the Junior Capitals unfortunately exited the M-League that also has SMS Global Technologies, Inc. as official livestream and technology partner, Spalding as official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, PLDT as official internet service provider and Manila Bulletin as media partner and is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring and Goodfellow.
Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill 99 – Brutas 28, Bauzon 15, De Leon 14, De Mesa 13, Darang 13, Niang 9, Sombero 4, Enriquez 13, Tay 0.
Quezon City 85 – Comia 18, Mabayo 15, Mahari 10, Udjan 10, Ouattara 10, Estoce Jr., 8 Melegrito 7, Asuncion 2, Barraquias 2, Vasallo 2, Delos Reyes 1, Riva 0, Macaballug 0.
Quarterscores: 30-18, 46-44, 75-69, 99-85